Today we celebrate World Teacher Day! Teachers are obviously an integral part of the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family. To celebrate this day we are sharing some stories from our own staff about why they chose teaching as a profession and who influenced them!
Superintendent George McGuigan- “I had been teaching for a few years, rolling along, building relationships as we do. It wasn’t until I was blessed with the Principalship at Father Mercredi High School that I fully realized the impact we have on youth. There were students I followed from my years at Father Beauregard, Father Turcotte, and the lovable St. John’s School. You don’t know the impact you have until later years when your students become adults and are successful responsible members of society. It hits home when we see each other, share a laugh or a tear, depending on the circumstance. To see a student you were close to, worked with, dragging kicking and screaming, to get their High school diploma, walk across that stage. You know right then and there- That’s why I do what I do! We are in the HOPE business!”
Deputy Superintendent, Inclusive Education Monica Mankowski- “Sister Wisegarber was very kind to me in grade 4, as I was a very shy and quiet student. I decided to become a teacher myself as I wanted to be connected to children. Because of the kindness of Sister Wisegarber I’ve always reached out to the quieter children in my classes.”
Elsie Yanik Catholic School Principal Lou Ann Demers-Noble- “Ever since I was in grade 2 and could play ‘teacher’ to my little sister, I dreamed about teaching. The thought of working with children all day and possibly being an inspiration to some was very enticing.”
Ecole St Paul Principal Claudette Fidler- “It was in grade 2 that I decided I wanted to be a teacher and that goal never changed. Many of my elementary teachers at Father Turcotte School and even my High School teachers at Father Mercredi High School influenced me positively. My fondest memory is of Sister Stella Chafe, my grade 4 teacher at Fr. Turcotte School. I had never heard anyone speak with an east coast accent (she was from Nova Scotia) and it was music to my ears. She was intelligent, compassionate, and fair to all of her students.”
Holy Trinity Catholic High School Principal Lisa Hilsenteger- “Becoming a teacher was something I had thought about since grade 2, it was a natural choice, like a calling of sorts. I had explored other careers, but kept coming back to the teaching profession. Being a teacher is who I am. I want to know that students come to school and are successful in an environment that is safe and filled with compassion and understanding.”
Father Turcotte School Principal Jody Seymour- “Teaching found me. We often say that it is ‘a calling’ and I can confirm that for me that was indeed the case. I thought I wanted to be a journalist and after dabbling in other educational paths and travelling out west to work, I began to work with children and families in other capacities and then, teaching found me. The happiest day of my working life, was the day I began to teach. I consider being in schools around children a great gift from God.”
St Kateri School Principal Valerie Dyck, “When I was in high school, Mrs. Somers influenced me the most. She was a fantastic teacher, very much ahead of her time with her progressive teaching techniques, and she taught English – my favourite subject. She pushed me to become a better student and a better citizen. Being a teacher lets me constantly learn every day. I love learning with and from my students and my colleagues.”
Thank you to all of the incredible teacher members of the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family! You go above and beyond for our students and families every single day!